What was it about the original script for Bundaberg Red Rum that appealed to Psyop and how did you develop the brief?
The overall narrative and quirkiness of the story was pretty appealing at first! It was one of those ads that you don’t see that often on TV in terms of content. So the uniqueness of it was also a plus. In terms of developing the brief, we initially received references from the agency in terms of the look and feel. From there, we dived into the design process, developing the look of the hero characters like the catfish, tongue, the environment and so forth. Developing not only the look of these characters or worlds, but also designing and proposing textures to give a very handmade, tactile feeling.
A tongue is rather an intriguing object to recreate, neverlone a swimming tongue. What was the process of refining the animation for the tongue?
We started off with the modeling, texturing, rigging of our tongue. And also designed certain poses in our initial design phase, which helped convey his personality and sense of motion.
The previs was used as a guide for the tongue in terms of the direction it was heading and objects it interacted with along the way.
“It took a little bit of work to figure out how to make the tongue look like a tongue, but swim like a fish. We experimented with things such as the direction it was facing, and how exactly it moved its “body” to seem like it was swimming. It was a little more challenging than a fish, since a tongue has no fins or tail,” says Dan Vislocky, Psyop Animation Lead.
Did the end result marry up to Psyop’s original plans or were there changes along the way?
Yes I think it did! We always have a very thorough initial design phase, where we devise the overall look of the spot and characters that exist in them. We collaborate very closely with the agency creatives during this phase, so that there generally are never too many surprises that pop up along the way.
However there was one small change that did arise towards the end of the project. The initial idea was to give the animation a stop motion effect to enhance the handmade nature of the spot. As we started seeing the animation take place, we all collectively decided that we loved the fluid animation so much that we ultimately nixed the original plan.
Psyop has gone global – when did you open the Sydney office? Is it all work or is there beach time?
We haven’t actually opened up a Sydney office just yet. However we have signed up with Australia’s top production company here, Revolver, who are representing us for our directing work and help facilitate the production on any local shoots.
Bundaberg was our first collaboration and was a great experience for both companies. At this stage, it’s just me flying solo, pulling on the resources from our LA and NY offices. Work is keeping me busy, but there is always time to hit up the beach on the weekends! That’s one good thing about Australia. There is a great balance of life!
Client: Diageo Australia Product: Bundaberg Red Title: ‘Catfish – As Smooth As Life Is Rough’
Client: Diageo Australia, Bundaberg Red –
Matt Bruhn – Marketing Director Andrew Oughton – Marketing Manager Serge Costi – Brand Manager
Agency: Leo Burnett Sydney –
Andy DiLallo – Executive Creative Director Tim Green – Creative Director Mike Felix – Copywriter Matt Swinburne – Art Director
Peter Bosilkovski – Client Services Director Sam McGown – Business Director Margot Fitzpatrick – Executive Producer Broadcast
Production Company: Psyop/Revolver –
14 Maddison Street / East Redfern Sydney / NSW 2016 P. +61 2 9363 2122 / F. +61 2 9363 0522
ABN 24 520 494 512
Psyop – Director Kim Wildenburg, Neysa Horsburgh – Exec. Producers, Psyop Luisa Murray, Hillary Thomas, Michael Schlenker, Producers, Psyop Dan Vislocky, David Chontos, Lane Jolly, Jose Martin – Project Leads, Psyop Caroline Barry – Producer, Revolver Michael Ritchie – Exec. Producer, Revolver Danny Ruhlmann – Director of Photography (Australia Live Action) Damien Drew – Production Design (Australia Live Action)
Music and Sound Design Post Production: Song Zu Sydney
Ramesh Sathiah & Haydn Walker – Music composers Abigail Sie – Sound Designer
Brett Nicoletti & Nathan Pickles.